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Updated: Alien: Blackout First Impressions Are In & They’re Pretty Good!

Following a somewhat disastrous announcement, several outlets have posted up early impressions of the upcoming game and they’re pretty positive! VentureBeat in particular was really keen on Alien: Blackout!

And in the case of Alien Blackout, developers Rival Games and Theory Interactive and publishers FoxNext/D3 Go! are about to remind us that the platform doesn’t dictate the quality of the product. More specifically, mobile doesn’t automatically equal suck for triple-A franchises. And more broadly, don’t just assume what a game is until you’re playing it.

Hey, I sympathize with the whole knee-jerk reaction towards mobile spinoffs. I’ve run into my fair share of used-car salesman in this industry.

But the Alien Blackout demo wasn’t what I was afraid it was going to be. It’s a legit standalone Alien game that happens to be on a mobile platform.

As I said in the beginning, Alien Blackout is a lesson in assumptions. They’re stupid. I’m stupid for having them. Do yourselves a favor, really investigate a game before judging it harshly, and you’ll avoid being stupid as well.

 Alien: Blackout First Impressions Are In & They're Pretty Good!

IGN also had the chance to chat to Alien: Blackout’s Senior Producer Josh Austin, about the upcoming Alien: Blackout, discussing some of the inspirations for the game. Talking about the genesis of Blackout, Josh revealed that a specific scene within Alien: Covenant served as inspiration for the game.

The idea was born from, of all things, Alien Covenant, Senior Producer Josh Austin tells me. “You know that part with David closing all the doors to funnel the alien through? I thought: this would be an extremely fun mechanic.”

Both IGN and VentureBeat go into detail about Alien: Blackout’s gameplay, with IGN discussing how (like Alien: Isolation) sound is a large component of the game and the Alien itself (again, like Isolation) is unpredictable in how it will react.

You can also hear it. Sound is a big part of Blackout, as it was in Isolation, and can be used in a number of ways. The xenomorph is triggered by sound, so you can shut doors in random parts of the station to throw it off the crew’s scent. Conversely, if you make too much noise while directing your crew, the xenomorph will come for you, in which case you’ll need to trip the emergency door and power down the entire station.

In other words, it’s a classic Alien cat-and-mouse dynamic, and that means it’s hard. Though you carry on if you lose a crew member, if you lose all of them, you’ll be sent back to the beginning of the level. “The Xenomorph doesn’t do the same thing twice,” says Austin. “So you might play a level and it might come from here or it might come from somewhere else. It’s very unpredictable but we fought very hard to keep it that way so that we could make it a really good Alien experience.”

 Alien: Blackout First Impressions Are In & They're Pretty Good!

Talking to Syfy Wire, Jukka Laakso (CEO/founder of co-developers Rival Games) also re-iterated the sound of Alien: Blackout.

“[Fans] get to experience the fear for the first time on mobile, something that the first movie is famous for, that suspense, that fear. It’s right there to be experienced on mobile, especially I would recommend you using headphones because that brings a whole different level to the immersion of the player,” Jukka Laakso, CEO/founder of Rival Games, told SYFY WIRE earlier in the week during a live demonstration of the game in Manhattan.

IGN was famously one of the few outlets that gave Alien: Isolation a negative review and took quite a lot of flack for it, many criticising the criticisms within the review itself. So amusingly, IGN are actually  quite optimistic about the quasi-follow-up!

From what I played, Alien: Blackout certainly looks like it could be a really good Alien experience, and what’s more, it’s a full game without the baggage of microtransactions that we have come to dread from mobile titles (to be clear, there are zero microtransactions. It’s $4.99 for the game and then you’re done). I certainly spent some time panicking while playing it, but not because of the reasons I thought going in.

 Alien: Blackout First Impressions Are In & They're Pretty Good!

TQ Jefferson, the VP of External Development at FoxNext, told Syfy Wire that there’s much more on the horizon for Alien fans this year!

“This is the tip of the spear for a lot of activity that’s going to roll out or get announced fairly soon for the Alien franchise. This being the 40th anniversary year and Alien Day being in April just three-and-a-half months from now, I think everyone’s gonna be fairly pleased with some of the things that we’ve got brewing and that we’re gonna start announcing and rolling out in quick succession.”

Jefferson talked about the topic of Alien: Isolation 2 with Variety, and while re-affirming that a sequel wasn’t currently in the works, Alien: Blackout doesn’t nessarily get in the way of a sequel.

“There is room for an ‘Isolation 2,’” he said, “Or beyond that. We know fans are really excited about ‘Isolation 2,’so we’re not going to dash that opportunity. When we started this project we thought about things like, is this going to get in the way of ‘Isolation 2’?”

Make sure you keep checking in with Alien vs. Predator Galaxy for the latest on Alien: Blackout! You can follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube to get the latest on your social media walls. You can also join in with fellow Alien and Predator fans on our forums!

Update 12/01/2018: These articles also come complete with 4 new screenshots, and I have to admit they’re looking pretty good!

alien-blackout-xenomorph-stalks-the-pharmaceuticals-lab alien-blackout alien-blackout-a.i.-core alien-blackout-xenomorph-spots-amanda-hiding


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Comments: 58
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  1. cloverfan98
    For sure I wanted an actual Alien Isolation 2 in the place of this but I'm not opposed to this new game. I quite loved AVP Evolution so I'm down for another mobile Alien game especially if it isn't free to play pay to win.
  2. 426Buddy
    Works on tablets too.

    Im still enjoying AvP Evolution on my phone.. funny how my lil phone has more power than almost all the consoles I grew up with combined. Has a bigger screen than a lot of hand held gaming systems did too.
  3. yarko
    The way I see it, it doesnt matter if it ends up being the very best game ever created. Playing in the tiny screen of your phone is wrong for a game like this. Imagine they confirm there is an Alien tv series in the making, but somehow you wont be able to see it in a TV, only  phones. It would suck just as much and I hardly think anyone would defend that.

    Also, on a personal level, I've spend lots of money on having a gaming PC, and a PS4 Pro with PSVR, and a Nintendo Switch, I'm not algo going to spend money on a $1000 phone just to play a game (even a game I really want to play). I dont think my third-hand $100 phone is able to even install this. Phones are for calling and texting, maybe a casual angry birds game. Alien deserves more than this.

    However, I hope that this sells well so in the future they consider porting it to PC/consoles. It has happened with other mobile games, I think.
  4. Voodoo Magic
    https://www.geek.com/games/hands-on-alien-blackout-is-a-mobile-game-for-people-who-hate-mobile-games-1769852/

    Another hands-on. Another positive one.

    Quote
    Alien: Blackout is not at all what I imagined. It does an admirable job of capturing the tension and suspense of the Alien franchise in a unique and enjoyable way. It also manages to avoid all of the negative aspects of mobile games; namely, cheap graphics and microtransactions. As a person who normally doesn’t give these titles a second glance, Alien: Blackout demonstrates the untapped potential of mobile platforms. Hopefully, we’ll get more games of this kind moving forward.


    *click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click*

    ~The sound of some people editing their first outraged reactions from This sucks! What a cash grab! No one wants this!  to  Hey all, give this game a chance!~   ;D
  5. Corporal Hicks
    https://www.geek.com/games/hands-on-alien-blackout-is-a-mobile-game-for-people-who-hate-mobile-games-1769852/

    Another hands-on. Another positive one.

    Quote
    Alien: Blackout is not at all what I imagined. It does an admirable job of capturing the tension and suspense of the Alien franchise in a unique and enjoyable way. It also manages to avoid all of the negative aspects of mobile games; namely, cheap graphics and microtransactions. As a person who normally doesn’t give these titles a second glance, Alien: Blackout demonstrates the untapped potential of mobile platforms. Hopefully, we’ll get more games of this kind moving forward.

  6. Perfect-Organism
    Hmm, I think I may have used the word Netflix as a generic term for a tv show that is accessible on a streaming platform.  What I meant was an ongoing show on s streaming platform whether it be HBO, Netflix, Disney or wherever else an Alien show may appear.
  7. Perfect-Organism
    If This is intended to be a Tie-In to a Netflix series that goes by the same name with this sort of look... awesome!

    I'm skeptical that Fox would enter into a new venture with Netflix at this time.

    Fairly so, I would say, but the rumors of an Aliens show have been swirling for months now, and since the word "watch" doesn't relate to a film, what does that leave?
  8. 426Buddy
    From the people that hates games that people love *cough*cough Alien Isolation *cough*cough. Comes a good review of a Five Nights at Freddy's clone, just repackaged to look and feel like it's in the aliens universe. Great. At the same time I may be a little harsh but it's a phone game, the idea a game that storywise is a tie in to a triple AAA game is ridiculous.

    It is more than just IGN who are posting positive impressions (as per the first post.) And, the person who wrote this Blackout article for IGN was not the same person who trashed Isolation. In fact, she wrote the second review that IGN published that liked the game.

    I thought Mr. H was a more respectable/reliable youtuber, what happened? Has he turned to click bait or was that always the case?

  9. Corporal Hicks
    From the people that hates games that people love *cough*cough Alien Isolation *cough*cough. Comes a good review of a Five Nights at Freddy's clone, just repackaged to look and feel like it's in the aliens universe. Great. At the same time I may be a little harsh but it's a phone game, the idea a game that storywise is a tie in to a triple AAA game is ridiculous.

    It is more than just IGN who are posting positive impressions (as per the first post.) And, the person who wrote this Blackout article for IGN was not the same person who trashed Isolation. In fact, she wrote the second review that IGN published that liked the game.
  10. Predwars24
    From the people that hates games that people love *cough*cough Alien Isolation *cough*cough. Comes a good review of a Five Nights at Freddy's clone, just repackaged to look and feel like it's in the aliens universe. Great. At the same time I may be a little harsh but it's a phone game, the idea a game that storywise is a tie in to a triple AAA game is ridiculous.
  11. The Old One
    This is just speculation about gameplay:
    1. Your are Amanda and you're at some kind of command centre security system where you can turn things on and off (open doors, turn on lights,etc) thereby alerting the alien
    2. you have crew members who have to do some work for you such as locate things and collect
    3. As Amanda, you must keep your people safe as well as yourself as the alien can locate an entrance to your location
    4. There is limited amount of power to your station or ship and you have to allocate power to the area where your crew is to keep them safe or keep places isolated.
    5. lots of story and dialogue here to keep it entertaining
    6. although they say it is mobile, it also has 1080p out put hense the quality screenshots and quality models and lighting. So its safe to say it is also for PC or even a portable PS pocket.

    This would make a very cool mini game if it were included into Alien:Isolation as a DLC.

    Sounds like a Ricardo mini-game tbh.
    I wonder to what extent it'll have a narrative.
     Or whether it did need Amanda Ripley at all.
  12. acrediblesource
    This is just speculation about gameplay:
    1. Your are Amanda and you're at some kind of command centre security system where you can turn things on and off (open doors, turn on lights,etc) thereby alerting the alien
    2. you have crew members who have to do some work for you such as locate things and collect
    3. As Amanda, you must keep your people safe as well as yourself as the alien can locate an entrance to your location
    4. There is limited amount of power to your station or ship and you have to allocate power to the area where your crew is to keep them safe or keep places isolated.
    5. lots of story and dialogue here to keep it entertaining
    6. although they say it is mobile, it also has 1080p out put hense the quality screenshots and quality models and lighting. So its safe to say it is also for PC or even a portable PS pocket.

    This would make a very cool mini game if it were included into Alien:Isolation as a DLC.
  13. razeak
    I just discovered Mr. h. In his defense, mobile has an exceptionally spotty history with quality, far beyond PC or console. Being wrong isn't a bad thing in this case.
  14. newbeing
    I really wouldn't be surprised if they release some sort of DLC if this does well enough, which I'm sure will piss some people off.

    I don't know if anyone here played the Dead Space game on mobile, but I remember that game being pretty good, and pretty intense in some parts.

    Are a lot of mobile games cash grab casual gamer crap? Yeah they are, but doesn't mean someone can excel beyond those expectations. Just don't go in expecting a AAA level of experience.

    What would be cool is if they could somehow support mobile vr devices such as GearVR or Google Daydream.
  15. Schrödinger
    I'm not gonna defend it until I play it and see how well it's core mechanics, optimization, graphics, animation, and so on holds up. A Proper review needs to be proper.   

    The main thing I'll look for though, since it's a 4.99 game that is said to be "Pay and Own" is to see if they sneak microtransactions into the game. If it has MTXs, then I'll give that shit a 0/10. 

    That and wasn't it confirmed to not be a sequel or even a canon/EU extension at all? Thus Mr.H calling it a "Semi-Sequel" made no sense.  Thus it's a Spinoff in order to gain money. Logical business move, granted badly marketed in the upcoming days before the announcement video.

    And on the "Fans" topic. Not all fans think alike, and there's always subset groups in all communities. The people in the forums are all lovers of Alien/Aliens/AvP/So on; with the given differential. People who play Mobile games and actually want to play this Blackout game are no more or no less than anyone else, they are still gamers.
  16. newbeing
    I'll probably end up getting it either for my phone or the IPad if they're supported. Can't really go wrong for $5.

    I can understand why people are upset, as I would rather Isolation 2, but honestly the fact that we're seeing anything resulting from Isolation is proof they know that the original, while not a huge seller, has a substantial cult following and is generally one of the biggest wins the franchise has had in years. Not holding my breath for Isolation 2, but Blackout makes me more hopeful for a true sequel.

    Also are people really having a problem with them reusing assets from Isolation? Why would they go through the trouble of the cost and time it would take to make all new assets that essentially look the same? Of course they're going to be reusing assets where they can.
  17. The Old One
    All the hate comes from mis-marketing.  I personally think it's a hoot.  Hilarious and expected. 

    While this game isn't intended to be a follow-up to 'ALIEN isolation', that's what it was promoted as.  No wonder the negative reaction came thick and fast.  How much better would it have been received if the lead character wasn't Amanda Ripley?  ...and what's her significance in all this, anyway..?  Is it even needed?  I think that's where the marketing - and for that matter game design went wrong.  The perception of the product on offer suffers because of it.

    I think a different character entirely would have been a better choice.  This shoe horning of the name Ripley into a game isn't necessarily going to guarantee sales.  Fans expectations are we will one day get a fully featured Triple A 'ALIEN Isolation' sequel.  The perception of it being on mobile phone featuring the game's main character was guaranteed to invoke such reactions. 

    Another issue I see here is the very nature of the gameplay and systems being offered.  When the Producer says  “You know that part with David closing all the doors to funnel the alien through? I thought: this would be an extremely fun mechanic.” Well, f**k me.  In this regard, I think he's right.  That gameplay would be great!  I'd love to play as David, cold heartedly directing the Alien to attack colonists would be fun!   I'd be up for that, murdering innocent colonists by manipulating doors and vents os Aliens to their location before they escape.  Hell!  I'd be up for that...  sounds like a great and preferable alternative to what is on offer

    There's nothing wrong with having the gameplay framed around that idea - but taking it and forcing it into another, more recognisable character - and really it's just for sake of having the name of 'Ripley' prominent in the title - is still going to elicit the response they got. 

    I think if the game had been released as an 'ALIEN covenant' title, it would have been much better received on mobile and a tie in to the most recent movie will definitely have appeal. 

    The only reason I can see the game wears the 'ALIEN Isolation' badge is because assets from the first game are recycled to fit the title.  They already exist.  Just use 'em. That way design elements don't have to be made - or paid for. 

    Just keep pilfering from the past to churn out product for the future.  It works, right?  I think that's at the core of this marketing debacle.  Fans at some level know that's going on and it feels cheap and recycled.

    That's because it is.

    -Windebieste.

    Big mood.
  18. whiterabbit
    Another issue I see here is the very nature of the gameplay and systems being offered.  When the Producer says  “You know that part with David closing all the doors to funnel the alien through? I thought: this would be an extremely fun mechanic.” Well, f**k me.  In this regard, I think he's right.  That gameplay would be great!  I'd love to play as David, cold heartedly directing the Alien to attack colonists would be fun!   I'd be up for that, murdering innocent colonists by manipulating doors and vents os Aliens to their location before they escape.  Hell!  I'd be up for that...  sounds like a great and preferable alternative to what is on offer.
    I'd say think it but don't say it just flew out the airlock. Yea lets murder some juicy colonists.
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